What are the main focus areas we’ll be looking at?
MENTAL and EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Overall mental health
Coping with stress and depression
Communication (esp. about problems)
Environmental issues awareness with regards to personal health
Health conditions caused or exacerbated by environmental conditions
Other health hazards like pollution and living/working conditions
Why is knowing this important?
Contributes to self-confidence and self-esteem
Develop effective communication skills
Develop effective coping strategies, including time-management skills
Recognize your strengths and limitations
Develop positive healthy habits
Improve mental as well as physical health
Why is knowing this important?
“ A healthy body leads to a healthy mind…” but the mind is a powerful thing and can have negative effects on the body! So, “a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body!”
Being a positive role model by promoting healthy lifestyles and taking an active role in the community with regards to environmental issues that have negative health effects.
Mental Health Is Essential To Overall Health
What is mental health?
How you think, feel, and act in order to face life’s situations…
For example, how you handle stress.
How you look at yourself, your life and the people in your life…
For example, how you relate to others.
How you evaluate your options and make choices…
For example: how you make decisions.
Key component of mental health: what you think.
Thinking is the cognitive component of mental health.
It’s important to recognize your thoughts and to determine if they are reasonable for the situation.
For example, a friend invites another friend to go to a movie. Do you think “That’s OK. She can do that. I know we’ll get together another time.” Or, do you think “She’s not my friend anymore. A real friend would always invite only me…”
It’s important how you respond to your thoughts.
Do you let negative, damaging thoughts continue or do you stop them? For example, if you think you’ve been slighted by a friend, do you go over and over in your mind that the friend is hurtful, disloyal, uncaring…
Thoughts produce feelings in us.
Key component of mental health: what you feel.
Feeling is the emotional / sensory component of mental health.
Thoughts produce feelings.
Thinking the same thoughts over and over in your mind will create feelings – negative thoughts will create more negative feelings and positive thoughts will create more positive feelings.
It’s important to recognize your feelings.
For example, “I am angry and upset!”
It’s important to understand where these feelings are coming from.
Ie: your thought processes and how you interpret what’s happened.
It’s important how you respond to your feelings.
“ I feel this way so it’s right to feel this way.”
Ask yourself questions such as: “Is this a legitimate feeling that is appropriate for the situation?”
Key component of mental health: how you act.
Action is the behavioral component of mental health.
Thoughts and feelings result in actions.
For example, you dwell in your mind about how your friend has slighted you until you feel really angry and then you take an action as a result of your thoughts and feelings.
Actions can be unhealthy.
For example, you could pick up the phone and yell at your friend and damage the relationship.
For example, you could go out for a smoke or take a drink and hide away in your room.
Actions can be healthy.
For example, you could talk over your thoughts and feelings with your friend or with someone else who could help.
Thoughts, feelings, and actions have impact.
Since you were a young child, you realized that your behavior had consequences.
You touched a hot stove and were burned.
You disobeyed a rule and were disciplined.
It’s important to also realize that there are consequences to the way we think and feel.
Why is mental health so important?
Here are just a few reasons…
Mental health is important because:
It affects your relationships with others:
Mental health problems lead to new problems with friends, family, law enforcement or school officials( National Mental Health Association, 1997)